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Dashes, or "Colons with Flair"

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David Mires

on 9 April 2015

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Transcript of Dashes, or "Colons with Flair"

Use #2
To set off information in a normal, mundane sentence that contains commas, like dates.
You pause when you come to a dash, but a scoch longer than a comma or colon.
or, colons with flair
Use #1
To introduce extra material but with more flair and drama than a colon.
colons and dashes do basically the same thing . . .
. . . but the colon is more formal and the dash is more informal.
It interrupts the flow of the sentence, but the extra material is important.
If you are spotlighting words, make sure they are important.
Use dashes in less formal writing,
and don't be too "dash-happy!"
". . . most of those programs were initiated by government wildlife agencies—not zoos" (Holt 991).
"The truth is that scant empirical evidence exists to prove that the primary vehicle for education in most zoos—the animal in the cage—actually teaches anyone anything" (Holt 991).
"At the turn of the last century, gorillas—these strange, human-like creatures from 'darkest Africa'—still flourished in the wild and thoroughly captivated the American public" (Holt 994).
". . . modern zoos—and aquariums, for that matter—offer fun, safe opportunities to view living wild animals up close and personal" (Holt 995).
"The thirtieth anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens—May 18, 1980—brought back vivid memories of ash and darkness" (Fogarty).
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